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December 12, 1966

Vagaries of Standard Operative Procedures

Author Affiliations

Culver City, Calif

JAMA. 1966;198(11):1223-1224. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110240131053

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To the Editor:—  In the article "Disaster Medicine" (197:1081-1084, 1966) the following statement appears: "For example, one good SOP might be worded as follows: 'The primary treatment of wounds consists of immediate aseptic cleansing and debridement. All wounds must be dressed open for at least three days.' "I believe I know what this statement means. To me it means that wounds encountered during times of disaster or war should not be sutured, that they should be unsutured and left to drain for a period of at least three days. However, I consulted my two medical colleagues plus my staff of ten nurses and I asked them to tell me what this statement meant in connection with disaster medicine.All stated that this meant that no dressing should be put on the wound. Not one of them said that it meant that the wound should not be sutured.I realize